NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

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helldorado
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NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby helldorado » Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:51 am

NGD! Big thanks to Chris Hong on this one, it all came together beautifully, in only 7 weeks, and delivered a day early from FedEx! :shock:

This was to replace a similar AM7 I sold when I decided to embrace baritones completely and abandon 7 strings, so this got some upgrades over that one. Arrived perfectly in tune, B standard with 12-68 Elixirs I sent in. Really looking forward to seeing how the Evertune does but it feels great so far.

  • ARIES 6 with EVERTUNE
  • ONE PIECE SWAMP ASH BODY
  • RAW TONE ULTRA-THIN SATIN
  • AQUA BLUE
  • ANTIQUE ASH TREATMENT
  • RMN ROASTED MAPLE NECK - medium roast for neck
  • REF ROYAL EBONY FRETBOARD - very streaky REF board
  • 26.5" Scale Option
  • 6 Reverse INLINE pointed Headstock
  • ASH HEADSTOCK OVERLAY
  • STAGGERED OFFSET DOT INLAY
  • ABALONE INLAYS
  • STAINLESS STEEL MEDIUM JUMBO
  • ACTIVE FISHMAN FLUENCE PU
  • BLACK CHROME PLATED HARDWARE
  • BLACK LOGO
  • STRAPLOCKS BY DUNLOP
  • ULTIMATE SOFT GUITAR CASE

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And the AM7 for comparison.
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spudmunkey
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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby spudmunkey » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:09 pm

darn, that's super sexy!! It also re-affirms my preference for Aqua over Teal. :)

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dalo
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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby dalo » Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:49 pm

i'm sure it plays and sounds as good as it looks....very nice

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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby helldorado » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:02 pm

spudmunkey wrote:darn, that's super sexy!! It also re-affirms my preference for Aqua over Teal. :)


Thanks! I like both, but aqua will always be my go to. When I was pricing out a K-Series, it was monsterburst mainly because the entire back of the guitar would've been aqua, lol. Chris hooked me up with the extra streaky Royal Ebony without having to go for full mastergrade.

What I've found I really love though is raw tone swamp ash. It just feels so freaking good and resonant. This Aries is a bit heavier than my AM7 was, but that's because of the Evertune. By itself, the Evertune bridge is like 1.5 pounds and they argue you offset about half of it with the amount of material removed, But with swamp ash being so light, not as much weight came out I think. Either way, it definitely has a good, centered feel to it that extra mass. It's not too heavy, just heavier by comparison and feels very solid and balanced for it. All the extra weight is definitely centered in the middle of the body, where my AM7 felt almost chambered and neck heavy by comparison.

I definitely have a desire for several more builds of this nature because they look amazing without being bank breaking. Go back to a hipshot bridge and 2 piece body, and that's almost $400 off the bill. Not necessarily Aries body shape, but swamp ash, raw tone finish, bolt-on, roasted maple or walnut neck. A Solo is a strong consideration.

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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby Sunset » Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:41 am

Nice!
We have similar aesthetic/tactile tastes for sure...Swamp ash/aat/roasted maple necks for the win.

So I gotta ask, after all the 27” besottedness, how do you like the 26.5”?

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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby ElfDude » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:58 am

Very handsome! :applause: :applause: :applause:
Aries A6H, CS6M, SH445, Contour 66, AE185, DC135, CT4M, Bolt, Bolt T, SH225, LB76F, Nomad, VT16 Head, V410, Pro Bass 100
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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby helldorado » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:27 pm

Sunset wrote:Nice!
We have similar aesthetic/tactile tastes for sure...Swamp ash/aat/roasted maple necks for the win.?


It's just the perfect intersection of function and aesthetic at a player price.

Image

Sunset wrote:So I gotta ask, after all the 27” besottedness, how do you like the 26.5”?


So... this is actually my third guitar in 26.5" scale and my second Kiesel. :lol:

I have a tropic DC600 that is 26.5" scale and a Schecter Kenny Hickey C1-EX with the Sustainiac.

I also have three Fenders, a Meteora, Strat and Tele (thought the last 2 are still in progress for rebuild) that have Fender's 27" conversion neck on them.

I have two, 27.7" scale PRS 277 semi-hollows and a 28.625" Warmoth baritone conversion on an LP body.

They're all lined up by scale behind my V220 and DC127

Image



Anyway, all of that to answer your question! I have always liked the 26.5" scale, but it's like a Fender vs PRS vs Gibson argument about which neck scale is best. Between my 26.5" and 27.7" scale guitars, I keep them all strung up with 12-68 strings, tuned to B standard. Those guitars end up with a tension and feel that is highly similar to 10-52 in standard on standard 24.75" to 25.5" scale guitars, accordingly. And when I was a teenager learning to play, I used those light top / heavy bottom 10-52's on Epi LP and Peavey Strat, and that feel has stuck with me, lol. So compared to a lot of the other baritone players I know, I go for a lot more tension and higher tuning than just ultimate low, but I hate string flop for the sake of low chugs. :lol:

So I *really* like 26.5" scale for that fast and slinky feel which also combines well with Kiesel's neck feel. But you need a really tight pickup to keep the sound from getting muddy or bottom heavy, the longer tensions help keep things a little clearer, and the intonation can get a bit shaky at the higher frets, so that's where it's like Fender vs Gibson. I also really like the clarity and tone I get on my PRS 27.7" guitars, especially since I have a Fralin noise-cancelling P90 set on the one. They hold up really well in drop A, while my Kiesel's get soft and a little flubby.

I would love a 27.5" or 27.7" scale option but when I talked to Chris about it, he said Jeff just laughed and said that he didn't want to get into *those* types of guitars. So if I wanted longer than 26.5", maybe Jeff could be talked into 27" since they offer it on the Vader and K-Series for 6 strings. But K-Series, or programming fees, I just don't want to spend that kind of money right now on a single guitar. I still plan to get at least 1 or 2 more 26.5" scale Kiesels in the future. A Solo or SCB would be cool.

But I *really* want something Kiesel quality and style to replace my PRS guitars. They're OK, but they're MIK SE models. My Fenders are pretty good MIM, and they cover the Fender space and if you're good with bolt-ons, Warmoth covers some other body styles as well, but I wouldn't mind other options. I figure if I come correct with enough $ (or $$$$$) and was looking to buy more than a one-off, Jeff would be more amenable to the idea and I'd be ready for that investment in a couple years. I still hope to talk him into a ~27.5" scale for the CT, CS or Crescent. I figure with the CT/CS, since they share base designs, it being done right could immediately provide the option for both guitars. Or, with the Crescent, being a more modern "Jeff" design, it could also be a good option and be semi-hollow / chambered. We'll see.

I have a feeling that I may be getting a Dunable this year or next. They're a little pricier than Kiesel, but still a US custom shop and I can get their R2 model in 27.5" scale. It's the long scale Explorer shape Jeff won't build. :lol:

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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby helldorado » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:47 pm

Unrelated, but I did find out that Evertune sells just the replacement faceplate. So if you were ever unhappy that Kiesel was only selling black Evertunes, you can replace the bridge cover piece with any other color they offer for only $50.

I had been thinking that moss green over AAT with gold hardware could be a really good look. :mrgreen:

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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby Sunset » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:01 am

Kinda going off on a tangent here, but...

I bought my first Kiesel used. Absolutely gorgeous DC7x. It’s strung 10-59 and I play B standard or drop A(I experimented with F# on the 3 but it just didn’t do anything for me). Despite the higher tension and the fact it weighs like a brick shithouse, it’s fun to play and I enjoy it. But after going multi scale it doesn’t come out much anymore.

Question: Since you use B standard on your 6’s, what tuning/gauges would you use on a standard fret 27” 7 string? Maybe I can find a niche for this beastie that my multi7’s don’t fit.

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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby helldorado » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:49 pm

Sunset wrote:Question: Since you use B standard on your 6’s, what tuning/gauges would you use on a standard fret 27” 7 string? Maybe I can find a niche for this beastie that my multi7’s don’t fit.


No tangent, all good! I'm in a baritone guitar group and they do all sorts of crazy low tunings so we talk tension and string gauges all the time. I had both the DC7X and AM7 so I know what you're talking about. The only reason I decided to sell my 7 strings were because I just never got fully comfortable with the wider neck, I don't play in a classical position as much as a more classic rock, more wrapped around hand position so it made it more awkward.

I found the biggest issue with the DC7X was that the higher E string was definitely too tight with the standard 10's to easily bend a full step. So I was playing with the idea of doing a modified tuning on both of my 7's. I had ordered the strings from Stringjoy but ended up deciding to sell them before I had a chance to try it all out, didn't want to waste even more strings putting them back to standard. So both of my buyers got a free pack of odd gauge stringjoys. :lol:

AM7 would've been baritone 6 + high F#
B-E-A-D-F#-B-F#
String 1: .0085
String 2: .013
String 3: .017
String 4: .024w
String 5: .038
String 6: .052
String 7: .068

DC7X I was looking at doing some sort of open G tuning and bought strings to try the low G variant
B-D-B-D-G-B-D or G-D-G-D-G-B-D. Doing it with a low B would allow it to be more easily done with standard 7 string gauges.
String 1: .010
String 2: .013
String 3: .017
String 4: .026w
String 5: .040
String 6: .054
String 7: .072

Which DC7X did you grab?

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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby Sunset » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:27 pm

Well that open G looks like a bunch of fun! Excellent info, and thank you for taking the time to share.

Here’s the test bed. Please forgive the poor quality cell pix. I’m uploading via the site’s attachment function. I don’t do internet pix much and just can’t justify the $ for a good hosting site.
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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby helldorado » Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:07 pm

Nice, that's a great top on the DC7X!

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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby Sunset » Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:52 pm

That bit of flame is a nice touch, no?

I’ll report back on the new tuning/gauge setup. Looking forward to some tonal experimentation. And thx again for the info!

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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby helldorado » Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:46 am

Sunset wrote:That bit of flame is a nice touch, no?

I’ll report back on the new tuning/gauge setup. Looking forward to some tonal experimentation. And thx again for the info!


Definitely is! Let us know how it goes!

Sunset wrote:So I gotta ask, after all the 27” besottedness, how do you like the 26.5”?


So I have to come back to the 27" topic. I was talking to Chris yesterday, thanking him again for how well the guitar turned out and his help on a couple "upgrades" like the extra streaky royal ebony without having to pay for full-on mastergrade. A new pile of snacks is on the way for him and everybody at Kiesel for all that, lol. In that I joked and asked what kind of snacks does Jeff like so I can soften him up for a 27"+ scale guitar?

His response:
I think more so than snacks Jeff just likes money lol. A pointy guitar might be hard to convince though even with money thrown at him. If you send me your dream specs on a build I could float it by him to see what his thoughts are and gauge if there’s a chance or if we’re just dreaming here.


We'll see where it goes. I'm doing a little thinking before responding because obviously I want a 27-27.5" scale on almost every Kiesel model with a headstock. :D On the last Q&A, I actually had a chance to watch and somebody asked about a 27" Osiris (wasn't me, headless is yuck :lol: ) and Jeff said $500 programming fee, happy to do it, no push back. Given his response to a question about new models, I read Jeff as not having much in mind to introduce new models vs refining existing models with features / options.

IMO you don't ask for something that's going to be a proud nail and complicates their manufacturing process if you really want it to have a chance at happening. There also has to be a reasonable business case, so it's a matter of identifying the value. When it comes to longer scale guitars, there's two factors. If you extend scale on the neck side, it can make a guitar neck heavy and that's something Jeff is sensitive to. If you balance bridge / pickup positioning with scale length, you can retain balance, but then you have to modify so many more CNC programs and other potential aspects of the manufacturing process.

That means the existing models that have 26.5" or 27" options are off the table.
- Aries, Solo, Aries NT, DC600, SCB, K-Series and Vader.

If we look at a bolt-on or set neck design, you can replace the original neck with a longer scale one, that has near identical heel positioning and fret placement for the last fret. This is how why Warmoth, Fender and other companies sell conversion necks. Change the neck, the rest of the guitar body is untouched. A 22 fret, 25.5" scale guitar can be replaced with a 24 fret, 28-5/8" scale neck and your neck heel, bridge and neck pickup placements are unaffected. For the 22 fret, 25" scale guitars, you can do a 24 fret, 27.7 to 28" scale neck and keep your bridge and neck pickup in place. At 27.7" scale, you move your last fret 0.2" closer to the edge of the fretboard, 28" is near identical. PRS uses 27.7" scale.

Models that could feasibly have a conversion neck applied.
- CT6
- CS6
- SH550 (same as the CT6 / CS6)

Then all of the other models of some configuration where a conversion neck doesn't really work and a longer scale would require movement of the bridge / pickups, or further modification
- Delos, Theos and Vanquish. Some of this is because they're 24 frets, or their 22 fret version would require a 28-5/8" scale neck conversion which I don't see Jeff agreeing to.
- Crescent
- SH6
- V220, Ultra V
- Hyperdrive

When I factor in the guitars I would really want, and be easiest to do, I think it comes down to the CT6/CS6, Crescent and V220. Ideally, I want an upscale replacement for my 27.7" PRS guitars and that's my main driver. So let me get into a detailed breakdown of what I'm thinking for each.

CT6 / CS6 - 27.7" 24 fret
Pros
  • At 27.7" scale, the 24th fret would only be 0.09" closer to the end of the neck heel than the 22nd fret on the current 25" scale. The current neck looks to have more than sufficient space between the fret and end of the fretboard to accommodate that. So a longer, 24 fret neck could be used without modifying the body. Much less development and CAD work required in general.
  • This should be immediately applicable to both the CT and CS since they have similar construction methods and look like they even use the same neck, so broader gain for the initial investment.
  • CS6 also has P90 routs available
Cons
  • The only bridges available are the contour and TOM. On extended scale, the TOM can be limited in its adjustment range for intonation. I would ask Jeff to consider the wider Hipshot Tone-A-Matic, but they rout a channel for the TOM on the body, so it would need wider routing to fit. Maybe he would do it because it's Hipshot and an upgrade, but I don't know.
  • There's no semi-hollow body option because that's the SH6 and it's a unique, 24 fret 25" scale design.

Crescent - 27.5" 24 fret - this requires moving the bridge and bridge pickup back 0.5" to accommodate the scale.
Pros
  • It's a Jeff design, so the guitar was intended to accommodate multiple string counts and neck scales. Even though the bridge would have to move back, they've done it with the C8 (27" scale), and a 27" scale would even be easier for them to do as an alternative. The 27.5" bridge would only be 0.125" further back than it is on the 27.5" scale.
  • Expanding on the Jeff design aspect, you can have Evertune, Hipshot flatmount, Floyd, Kiesel Countour and still fit the 9V battery box with a bridge set further back.
  • Chambered, crescent hole for semi-hollow, all should be available as options.
  • Maybe they tell Andy James and he validates the design by adopting it as part of his signature model lineup, so you have a baritone AJ6E in addition to the other models, but that might be too much wishful thinking. :-)
Cons
  • Only humbuckers are available, but that isn't a dealbreaker. They've never offered Fluences on the Crescent, but it doesn't mean they couldn't do it.
  • It's not quite as sexy as the CT6, and it means no singlecut variant. I still maintain Jeff should do a singlecut based off the Crescent to have a truly modern singlecut available on the market.

V220 - 27" 24 fret. This requires a whole new neck blank design.
Pros
  • All the other 27" models are neck-thru based (K-Series and Vader) so it shouldn't be terribly complex to apply that design from their neck blank to the V220's. Ultimately, you're extending the fretboard at the headstock end, and repositioning the bridge and bridge pickup. Being a slab design, the V220 is easy to modify with less impact on other design features.
Cons
  • It's not the most popular or versatile model so limited appeal to have it actually become something other than a customer requested one-off


Basically, my thought is I present the CT6/CS6 idea with the Crescent as an alternative and see which route Jeff would be open to, if either. If that's a no, the V220 is the backup. If he says yes to either of the carved tops, then the V220 would be a pocket wishlist item after I can afford to bankroll some baritone carved tops. :-) 27.5"+ on the Crescent / CT6 attracts a customer base who aren't well served by 27" and shorter scales. These are people tuning to A and lower. I love the clarity on my PRS 27.7" guitars in drop A, especially matched with some articular and clear pickups like my Fralin P90's, which I could get in a humbucker shape.

I know that was a lot, you guys have thoughts?

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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby Sunset » Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:37 am

helldorado wrote:I know that was a lot, you guys have thoughts?


1. Your advanced Kieselography is faaar superior to anything I can muster, so I'm no help at all in tech matters.

2. Save yourself some $ and effort. Come to the headless darkside my son, we have cookies and we bonk our instruments on our daws a little less often. :wink:

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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby helldorado » Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:23 am

Sunset wrote:2. Save yourself some $ and effort. Come to the headless darkside my son, we have cookies and we bonk our instruments on our daws a little less often. :wink:


Image

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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby Sunset » Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:54 am

If any of your buds are curious about that 27” headless in the corner...
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Re: NGD - Aries 6, Evertune 26.5"

Postby helldorado » Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:53 pm

Sunset wrote:If any of your buds are curious about that 27” headless in the corner...


Seriously, if you ever see me with a headless guitar, then something is seriously wrong. I've either been replaced by a body double or somebody is holding a loved one captive.


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